Jeffery Potvin knows the secret to project success is a talented team and the right tools. He also knows that the project management tools out there aren’t quite cutting it and he’s looking to change this with the launch of a new, innovative project management platform called Swyvel.
Swyvel is the first product to come out of Hardboot Inc., a Toronto-based project management and development company of which Potvin is the CEO and founder. Hardboot currently employs over 150 team members and has over 400 projects under its belt since it’s inception in 2007.
Potvin built Hardboot from the ground up using his 15 years of digital development, marketing and business development experience having held senior positions at Loblaws and Kaboose.com. He is most notably known for his integral role in the online photo and video business launched at Kaboose.com, which was acquired by Disney for $18 million shortly after.
Potvin’s new product, Swyvel, was born out of Hardboot’s own business needs and dissatisfaction with other tools currently in this market segment. “The previous project management system we were using wasn’t nimble enough," Potvin explains. “We knew what we needed, so Swyvel became Hardboot’s side project."
A cloud-based project collaboration tool, Swyvel aims to replace the multiple platforms project managers are usually cobbling together in order to manage all the moving pieces of a project. The name of the product came to Potvin while pivoting around on his office chair and its meant to reflect the platforms’ agile and intuitive interface which allows project managers to stay on top of several different project touch points all within an accessible, easy-to-use dashboard.
The ideation process for Swyvel was lengthy as the Hardboot team tested their ideas and their technology to prove it in the market prior to development. They then moved through a series of internal trials and beta testing periods before offering it in a closed-beta period in February 2012 to a selection of clients and Ryerson students.
Swyvel moved into a soft launch in November to continue gaining feedback from users from the retail, agency and media sectors. Some of the companies that have been involved during this period include AOL.com Canada, Cisco and Reshift Media.
Testing the Swyvel platform internally before commercializing and seeding it out to clients who also had a chance to weigh in on features and modifications was critical to preparing the version which is available for general release today.
One of the expected benefits of using Swyvel is the reduction of a project’s email footprint. Potvin says that from their pre-launch testing they are seeing at least a quarter reduction in the amount of emails for projects that are using Swyvel. This seems pretty feasible considering that the platform allows users to view all the integral components of a project in one place in addition to offering secure project file sharing through the cloud.
The platform is also fully compatible with Dropbox and iCal for exporting calendar invites. Potvin has indicated that we should expect to see integration with other software and systems in upcoming product releases.
On Swyvel’s website, the team says that they “dreamed of a suite of features combined into one single tool that would help us complete projects on time and on budget.” With the official launch of Swyvel today, this dream has become a reality.